Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Discrete is on hiatus for the month of July. Please join us for our next event, August 13, when we feature poets John Beer, Bill Allegrezza and Garin Cycholl.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Mark Tardi is from Chicago, Illinois. His first book, Euclid Shudders, was a finalist for the 2002 National Poetry Series. A chapbook on Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin called Part First-------Chopin's Feet is forthcoming from G-O-N-G. Currently he is completing a new manuscript, as well as an adaptation of Stefan Themerson's story "Wooff Wooff or Who Killed Richard Wagner?" for the stage. He has also served as an editor at Dalkey Archive Press. Recent work can be found in Antennae, Aufgabe, Bird Dog, Conundrum, and Travers

Friday, June 04, 2004

Brenda Iijima's book AROUND SEA was published this year by O BOOKS. An essay titled COLOR AND ITS ANTECEDENTS, published as a chapbook was also released this year by Yen Agat Books. She is the editor of PORTABLE PRESS AT YO-YO LABS. As well Iijima is a painter and a photographer. She grew up on the highest mountain in Massachusetts, in the town of North Adams. Since the 90's she has lived in Brooklyn, New York.

The following poem is from the manuscript EARLY LINOLEUM forthcoming from Furniture Press.


Flounder flat
Bogus style
On these racks of totalitarian barbarity
Dacnomanian mania: earth dweller versus
Earth dweller between dips in surrounding rock strata
Igneous arrangements, loaded extemporaneousness
Gilded swans kimball in dives, ball up into verb
Butterfly as psyche can’t be quelled
Midden of myth and a harkening transmutation
Dark funereal beauty underscores this prophecy
In our garden’s ravens and ravenous fires. Ruse’s epic
Reflection scorched in Hiroshima, Castor and Pollux mock-up
Righteous patron saints vertiginous as interlocutors
Mystic borderland metal. Tint of torpor, wisteria, cosmic purple aura
Lost pink gentleness to white vice or excess yellow
Light brown practical mind
In fore a diorama discrete, built to live in the midst
Ideograms resembling secrets
Retrieving rosebuds for the drusy eye
Darkle a sarcoline scene
Corruption of generous moves
Racy subatomic particles collide steadily
Into non-existence
Like Tang, like hoedown
To die this way is
Softened into camp, a blue notebook of doves
Deepest regions of death
Life possesses me
Undulating hazard between chance
Friday June 11: poets Mark Tardi & Brenda Iijima and performance by composer Keumok Ho.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Judd Morrissey is a writer and programmer whose work in electronic literature has been widely and internationally received and exhibited. With his hypertext, The Jew's Daughter, he introduced his unique form of digital narrative, an unstable, self-evolving, virtual page that continuously re-writes itself in response to the reader. My Name is Captain, Captain., a digital 'night-flight' poem created in collaboration with Lori Talley, was published by Eastgate Systems in 2002. Judd is now concentrating on a new work in progress, The Error Engine, an experiment in writing and artificial intelligence that reflects his ongoing concerns with the relationship of literature and accident and the nature and future of the book. He teaches in the Art and Technology Studies department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

from The Error Engine

A reading from The Error Engine, a system designed to create performances in language that are authored collaboratively by humans and machines. It is an attempt to write the book that writes itself, that becomes the continuous movement towards its own completion, a solution to the system of itself. A collaboration with Lori Talley and Lutz Hamel, the work takes the visual form of a digital page that undergoes fluid transformations, weaving and re-weaving itself together in response to the interactions of the reader.

Following the reading, visitors may communicate with the work by sending text messages from their cell phones. The messages will be interpreted by the engine as constraints for the evolution of the narrative.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

New York born and raised, Nicolas Collins studied composition with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University, worked for many years with David Tudor, and has collaborated with numerous soloist and ensembles around the world. He lived most of the 1990s in Europe, where he was Visiting Artistic Director of Stichting STEIM (Amsterdam), and a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin. Since 1997 he has been editor-in-chief of the Leonardo Music Journal. He is currently Chair of the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent recordings are available on PlateLunch, Periplum and Apestaartje.

Nicolas Collins
The Talking Cure
Chicago duo version, May 2004

For many years I’ve been using spoken texts in my music. The voice lends its own sonic qualities, and triggers or controls other sounds (usually electronic, often via computer mediation) to generate extensions and elaborations of the melody and rhythm of natural speech. Narrative content provides form and direction: the hypnotic, often soporific seduction of a good story became central to both life and music while I was raising my small children through the 1990s.

I scavenged and collaged found texts from a wide range of authors – neurologists, poets, mystery writers, historians – and penned a few myself, or in collaboration with my author-wife Susan Tallman. Until recently, however, the words were always fixed before I went on stage. The rest of my performance activities incorporate a fair degree of ad hoc decision making and improvisation, so a few years ago I decided to develop a musical strategy for “improvised talking.”

In “The Talking Cure” a computer follows the inflection and phoneme content of the voice and generates a piano accompaniment that, to my ear, sounds like Charles Ives working a cocktail lounge. The computer also records certain specific speech sounds, which can be played back later to overlay a vaguely instrumental solo line, inspired by the extraordinary trumpet style of Axel Dörner. Sometimes I begin the performance with a family letter or a newspaper article in hand as a conceptual point of departure; other times I prepare nothing. I hold forth for 15-25 minutes and the computer does the rest, making music off my cuff.

The title derives from an early euphemism for Freudian psychoanalysis. Freud advised the patient to “utter without obstruction the thoughts and ideas rising to his mind,” which is pretty much the advice I follow on stage.

For this performance I will be joined by Jonathan Chen in the triple role of fellow patient, analyst and violinist.

Friday May 14, 9pm: Discrete Series features Nic Collins & Judd Morrissey.

Monday, April 05, 2004

John Tipton had an itinerant childhood in Indiana, Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Illinois. After a three-year stint in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of Chicago on the G.I. Bill where he earned an AB in philosophy. He currently lives in Chicago and curates the Chicago Poetry Project, a series of readings at the Chicago Public Library. Tipton is the author of Surfaces, just out from Flood Editions.

"pictures of snow"

pictures of snow
lapse at spots
to unhide ink

snow no darker
than the sky
grays a raven

bird calls banks
stirs fixed point
drifts into trees

will weigh slender
the raw chink
the rooted frame

the snow's joints
number the unique
ways to fall

or still branch
or dead leaves
or some rust

raven give us
what falls orthogonal
what aligns vision

photos of ravens
have a gloss
of their own

Monday, March 29, 2004

Kent Johnson has edited Doubled Flowering: From the Notebooks of Araki Yasusada (Roof, 1998), as well as Also, with My Throat, I Shall Swallow Ten Thousand Swords: Araki Yasusada's Letters in English, forthcoming from Combo Books. He has also translated (with Alexandra Papaditsas) The Miseries of Poetry: Traductions from the Greek (Skanky Possum, 2003) and (with Forrest Gander) Immanent Visitor: Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz (California UP, 2002), which was a PEN Award for Poetry in Translation selection. He was named Faculty Person of the Year for 2003 at Highland Community College, in Freeport, Illinois, where he teaches English Composition and Spanish.
Thanks to everyone who made our Discrete megaweekend a success: Stefan Grace, Jeff Weeter, Jen Karmin, the readers, Jesse for his mc'ing partnership, and Kim Hayes and Margaret Sloan for their post-reading hospitality.

Next reading is Friday April 9th:
John Tipton (celebrating the release of his book "Surfaces" just out from Flood Editions)
& Kent Johnson

Event starts at 9 p.m.